Racial Justice

First Unitarian’s Summer 2019 Common Reads

For the third year, First Unitarian is sponsoring a summer reading series with discussions led by members of the program staff over the 2019-2020 program year. Please support authors and local businesses.  Consider purchasing your books from a local book seller.

Black Is The Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine,  by Emily Bernard, Book Discussion: January 19, 2020, 12:45PM

An extraordinary, exquisitely written memoir (of sorts) that looks at race–in a fearless, penetrating, honest, true way–in twelve telltale, connected, deeply personal essays that explore, up-close, the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America’s New England today.

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens, Book Discussion: February 23, 2020, 12:45PM

This engaging novel is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo, Book Discussion: February 2, 2020, 12:45PM

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), anti-racist educator, Robin DiAngelo, deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Film Screening – Date TBA

Cooked: Survival By Zipcode

See trailer here. 

In Helfand’s signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code takes audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat disaster – in which 739 people died, mostly black and in the poorest neighborhoods of the city, and ties it back to the underlying man made disaster of systemic structural racism and then goes deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries – Disaster Preparedness. Along the way she forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme wealth disparity and the politics of “disaster,” daring to ask: What if with a slight torque of the system and a reframe of the terms disaster, preparedness and resilience we could invest in the most “vulnerable communities” now – instead of waiting for the next “natural disaster”?

And these book for Children and Youth

Also, consider the following:

New York City Common ReadJust Kids, by Patti Smith (Book Discussion Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 6:30PM) Information garnett@fuub.org 

Unitarian Universalist Association Common Read (2018-2019) – Justice on Earth edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom 

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